Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel

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Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel was born on November 15th 1891, He was popularly known as the Desert Fox, and He was a highly decorated officer in World War I and was awarded the Pour le Mérite for his actions on the Italian Front.  During World War II, Rommel was a senior German Army officer that distinguished himself as the commander of the 7th Panzer Division during the 1940 invasion of France. His leadership of German and Italian forces in the North African Campaign established his reputation as one of the most able commanders of the war, and earned him the appellation of “the Desert Fox”. He later commanded the German forces opposing the Allied cross-channel invasion of Normandy in June 1944.

Rommel supported the Nazi seizure of power and Adolf Hitler, although his attitude towards Nazi ideology and level of knowledge in the regime’s crimes remain a matter of debate among scholars. In 1944, Rommel was implicated in the 20 July plot to assassinate Hitler. Due to Rommel’s status as a national hero, Hitler desired to eliminate him quietly. Hitler forced Rommel to commit suicide, in return for assurances that Rommel’s family would not be persecuted following his death. Rommel was given a state funeral, and it was announced that he had succumbed to his injuries from the strafing of his staff car in Normandy.

Rommel became a larger than life figure in both Allied and Nazi propaganda; following the war, that image coalesced into Rommel myth, a view that he was an apolitical, brilliant commander and a victim of the Third Reich due to his (disputed) participation in the 20 July plot. Rommel’s reputation for conducting a clean war was used in the interest of the West German rearmament and reconciliation between the former enemies Britain and the United States on one side and the new Federal Republic of Germany on the other. In modern times, attempts to reinterpret Rommel result in a more diversified picture.

 

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